Thursday, September 24, 2015

“The Power of Our Philanthropy” to Highlight Strategic and Collective Giving in Communities of Color

Marsha Morgan, center, with Birmingham Change Fund
giving circle at the 2014 CIN Conference

By Marsha Morgan

Power is known as the source of an energy supply. This is not only applicable to science but also to our everyday lives. I always look forward to attending the Community Investment Network (CIN) Conferences because I leave equipped, inspired, and awakened. Annually, I know I will have an opportunity to commune with others that are collectively changing the trajectory of the communities where they reside.

CIN Conferences have the familiar feeling of a family reunion and evoke the same electrifying emotions as attending homecoming. The 2015 CIN National Conference will be held October 2-4, 2015 in Metropolitan Washington, DC in Arlington, Virginia. This year’s theme, “The Power of Our Philanthropy,” will explore the diverse ways communities of color make a difference in our communities. The Honorary Chair is Marcus Littles with Frontline Solutions, and the Co-Chairs are Tracey Webb and Amoretta Morris of Black Benefactors, the Host Giving Circle for this year’s Conference.

Why should you attend the 2015 CIN Conference? It will feed your soul and allow you to see how you can leave a lasting legacy in your community; allow you to learn the most effective strategies to advance communities of color; discover how people are collectively using their money to strategically impact their region; and be the platform for grassroots initiatives and best practices on how to collectively transform neighborhoods, educational systems and youth.

Highlights of this year’s Conference will include sessions led by The Denver Foundation for foundation staff and individuals involved in community philanthropy; a professional development workshop facilitated by the POISE Foundation on “Strengthening Black Families: A Case For Philanthropic Investment;” a Community Learning Tour hosted by Black Benefactors on the Black U Street Corridor Community; a keynote address by Susan Taylor Batten, President and CEO of ABFE; and conference workshop topics on Giving Circles 101, We Got Next: Young, Black, and Giving Back, Strategic Giving: A Science Education Partnership and What’s Faith and Philanthropy Got To Do With Justice?

I hope that you will join us this year to experience one of the most inspiring, motivating, and rejuvenating symposiums of the year. The 2015 CIN Conference will accentuate the notion that we can do more collectively than individually, which is the “Power of Our Philanthropy.”

The public is invited to attend the conference to learn more about collective giving, giving circles, strategic philanthropic impact, and the difference that CIN members are making in their communities. Sponsorship is available. To register for the conference or for sponsorship details, go to

The conference kickoff event, “Go-Go Gives Back: A Cultural Legacy of Philanthropy” will be hosted by Black Benefactors on Friday, October 2. To RSVP, visit

About CIN
The mission of CIN is to inspire, connect and strengthen African Americans and communities of color to leverage their collective resources and create the change THEY wish to see. CIN is unique because it focuses on the supply side of philanthropy for communities of color. Founded in 2004, CIN is a trailblazing organization that has mobilized giving circles and increased donors of color across the nation. Giving circles are a non-traditional form of philanthropy that enable individuals to pool their time, talent, and treasure to make a difference in their communities. The organization currently has over 200 members, 17 giving circles, and 10 giving circles in development.

About the Author: Marsha D. Morgan is one of the founding members and previous Chairperson of the Birmingham Change Fund Giving Circle, which began in 2004. She is active in numerous community and civic organizations, and in 2015, she joined the Board of Community Investment Network. She works as an Operations Compliance Manager with the Southern Company, and lives in metropolitan Birmingham, Alabama with her husband Jerome Morgan, Jr.

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